Dem Establishment: "Dear Kiddies, We Know What's Best for You and it's Spelled TPP"
Largely unnoticed, last week, Penny Pritzker, the Secretary of Commerce and former fundraiser in chief for Obama's 2012 camapign, whose billionaire family members are among the largest donors to the Clinton campaign and Clinton SuperPacs, gave a speech in San Diego, in support of passing the TPP this year. Her tone was that of a mother scolding a young child for refusing to take his or her medicine.
She uttered the words slowly and deliberately — as if speaking to a child.
“At home and abroad, we are increasingly fighting the view that suggests we pull up the drawbridge and retreat into isolationism,” U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker said Wednesday in San Diego. “My friends, you all know this. But. That. Will. Not. Work.” [...]
“Ladies and gentlemen, let’s be frank,” said Pritzker, who followed Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf to the auditorium lectern. “The world is watching. American leadership and prosperity are at stake with this agreement.”
Calling the “heated rhetoric” around TPP louder than ever, she urged audience members to make their voices heard.
“We must not let the most progressive trade agreement in our nation’s history … fall victim to our fear of the future,” she said. “Now is the time to secure high-standard trade agreements that reflect our interests and our values.”
Yes, because if we fail to pass the "most progressive trade agreement" in US history, one that will give large transnational corporations the authority to subvert our laws and our Constitution through the use of secretive corporate staffed and run tribunals is clearly a retreat into isolationism.
[T]he pact includes the kind of “investor-state dispute settlement” (ISDS) provisions written into most major trade deals passed since the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). Those provisions allow companies to use secretive international tribunals to sue sovereign governments for damages when those governments pass public-interest policies that threaten to cut into a corporation’s profits or seize a company’s property.
If you think this is theoretical nonsense, think again. Under NAFTA the US Government is currently being sued in one of these "investor-state dispute" forums by TransCanada Corp "seeking to recoup $15 billion for the Obama administration’s rejection of the Keystone XL oil pipeline ." But rest assured, such matters are best left to the adults, by which I mean wealthy elites such as Penny Pritzker and her family.
“We must get it done this year,” Pritzker said of TPP approval. “We must look to cities like San Diego as a model and help more communities find their own phones, drones and genomes” — specialties for export.
In a 12-minute talk at Qualcomm Hall, she said TPP would lift more than 18,000 foreign tariffs on U.S.-made products, cut red tape and export delays and free up money for expansion — while boosting wages of high-paying jobs on a “level playing field.”
“All of us are excited about TPP,” she said. “Yet we must acknowledge that many of us have friends and neighbors here in San Diego and across the country who are anxious about … another trade deal. Today the American people are more afraid of trade, more anxious about the future and more frustrated with government than ever before.”
Unfortunately for Secretary Pritzker, the record of past trade deals shows they do little if anything to increase jobs in America. Quite the contrary.
For NAFTA’s unhappy 20th anniversary, Public Citizen has published a report that details the wreckage. Not only did promises made by NAFTA’s proponents not materialize, but many results are exactly the opposite.
Such outcomes include a staggering $181 billion U.S. trade deficit with NAFTA partners Mexico and Canada and the related loss of 1 million net U.S. jobs under NAFTA, growing income inequality, displacement of more than one million Mexican campesino farmers and a doubling of desperate immigration from Mexico, and more than $360 million paid to corporations after “investor-state” tribunal attacks on, and rollbacks of, domestic public interest policies.
Now Hillary Clinton, after much evasion and dodging, last year finally came out against supporting the TPP despite once calling it the "gold standard" of trade deals while traveling around the globe as Secretary of State making speeches promoting the pact. Yes, thank you Bernie Sanders for getting Hillary to announce on the record that the TPP in its present form doesn't meet her high, if somewhat vaguely worded, standards:
[W]e have to have a trade agreement that would create good American jobs, raise wages and advance our national security, and I still believe that is the high bar we have to meet," she said. Clinton said she doesn't believe the Trans-Pacific Partnership between the United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations "is going to meet the high bar I have set."
Yet, in light of her support by billionaires, like the brother and sister-in-law of Commerce Secretary Pritzker, her recent courting of wealthy Republican donors, who are now flocking to support her, and her campaign to bash Progressive opposition within and without her party, we are asked to believe that Hillary as Madame President will keep her word and oppose passage of the TPP - assuming President Obama fails to secure its approval in a lame duck session of Congress after the general election, which is the major focus of many activists who supported Bernie Sanders.
To me, Hillary's actions speak louder than her words. Republican billionaires are not signing onto her campaign because they believe she will do what's best for the 99 percent. They are acting in their own interests. They obviously are either dupes (unlikely), or they have been promised that Hillary will continue to support the pro-business policies of her predecessor, Barack Obama.
That means that if Obama fails to push the TPP through a lame duck session of Congress, Clinton will undoubtedly and "unexpectedly discover' that it suddenly passes the high bar she set for trade deals. And of course, a plethora of business groups are laying the groundwork for her by issuing endorsements of the TPP that cite its many benefits without once mentioning the potential cost to workers or the drastic impact it will have on the enforcement of our state and federal laws ranging from labor and environmental protections to policies regulating Wall Street.
It is also critical to note that the Democratic Platform does not contain any language opposing the TPP, thanks to Clinton and DNC appointees to the Platform committee who voted against language backed by members of that committee appointed by Sanders who fought for an anti-TPP plank. And don't forget the numerous anti-TPP signs that were either confiscated or ripped out of the hands of Sanders delegates at the DNC convention by Clinton Supporters. Indeed, the head of the US Chamber of Commerce flat out said that Hillary is lying to us now regarding her opposition to the TPP back in January:
The Chamber president said he expected Hillary Clinton would ultimately support the TPP if she becomes the Democratic nominee for president and is elected. He argued that she has publicly opposed the deal chiefly because her main challenger, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), has also done so. “If she were to get nominated, if she were to be elected, I have a hunch that what runs in the family is you get a little practical if you ever get the job,” he said.
So vote for "Her" if you like, but don't expect a woman who cannot tell the truth even after her lies have been exposed numerous times, to follow through on any of her alleged promises